Sentinel Staff Writer
April 26, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH -- An unusual partnership of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews has resulted in an upscale thrift shop that benefits local synagogues and families touched by Alzheimer's disease.
The Gently Used Furniture Thrift Store is a 6,500-square-foot collection of costume jewelry, used appliances, clothing, toys and secondhand furniture at 801 Mason Ave. Volunteers from eight local Jewish organizations donate the items and work in the former gymnasium-turned-thrift-store.
"This is like getting the Democrats and Republicans together at one table and having everyone agree," said Bruce Barenbaun, president of the board that runs the store. "This is a first step for this community and marks a break with the past, because all the synagogues are united for one charitable cause."
Sales from the store will be divided evenly among the sponsoring organizations. The store opened April 9 and made $4,000 during its first three days, Barenbaun said. Organizers hope to clear $300,000 during the first year.
"We have a great location, a vast number of donors and constantly changing merchandise," Barenbaun said. "Every day is an adventure, because we never know what the truck will deliver."
The store has two paid employees and two trucks that pick up items. Volunteers from the affiliated organizations make up the rest of the staff.
"We invited the Alzheimer's Association to participate because it is a secular charity that touches so many lives," said Paul Cohen, who helped launch the store.
Bruce Pronovost, vice president of finance and administration for the Alzheimer's Association, said more than 17,000 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in Volusia and Flagler counties. Money raised from the store will pay for education and support services for families touched by the disease.
The participating organizations include Jewish Charities, Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler Counties, Temple Beth Shalom in Palm Coast, Congregation B'Nai Torah in Ormond Beach, Temple Beth-El in Ormond Beach, Temple Israel in Daytona Beach, Temple Israel in DeLand and Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona in Ormond Beach, and the Alzheimer's Association of Central and North Florida.
The thrift store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Saturday and 13 major Jewish holidays.
Terry O. Roen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-851-7911.
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